Bandha means to lock, close-off, to stop. In the practice of a Bandha, the energy flow to a particular area of the body is blocked. When the Bandha is released, this causes the energy to flood more strongly through the body with an increased pressure.
There are four types of Bandhas:
- Mula Bandha – Anal Lock
- Uddiyana Bandha – Lifting of the Diaphragm
- Jalandhara Bandha – Chin Lock
- Maha Bandha – Practice of all three Bandhas at the same time.
Generally, the breath is held during practice of the Bandhas. Mula Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha can be performed after the inhalation as well as after the exhalation. Uddiyana Bandha and Maha Bandha are only performed after the exhalation.